ENID, Okla. — Question: Should the parks plan be a priority for the city right now, and why?
De La Cruz
De La Cruz said the city needs to invest in its parks, but doesn’t need to spend the $50 million specified in the parks plan.
“I don’t know if parks should be a priority,” De La Cruz said. “Are parks a needed item? Absolutely. But, it could be scaled down quite a bit.”
He said he’s opposed to building the planned community park at 30th and Randolph.
“I don’t know that we need to build that on a side of town that will be inaccessible by a lot of people,” he said.
He said the city’s proposed parks plan doesn’t take into account added expense and support requirements that would come with more parks.
“More people in the parks creates more necessity for police intervention, and we don’t have enough police as it is,” he said.
De La Cruz also said the proposed $852,000 for a new downtown park actually is a “back-door plan” to add lighting, speakers and green space for the Enid Renaissance project.
“Do we need to spend money on parks? Yes,” De La Cruz said. “Do we need to spend that much? No. And, we don’t need to back-door money to a project a lot of people are already upset about.”
“Water needs to take priority,” Meibergen said. “When you start talking about water parks and new pools, and people couldn’t even water their lawns, it shows where the priority needs to be, and that’s water.”
Meibergen said the parks plan would be a positive for work force recruitment and retention, and overall community quality of life, but he said addressing the city’s water needs should come first.
He said he’s still undecided on how he’ll vote on the parks plan in the March 5 election.
“I want to vote yes, but I think there’s other priorities out there,” he said. “I’m having a hard time voting for it, simply for the fact of the drought situation. The timing is not so good, especially on the water park portion of the plan, considering the water rationing we had last summer.”